Sky Italia set to eclipse terrestrials

TV unit to takeover RAI, Mediaset by 2010

MILAN — Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky Italia will overtake pubcaster RAI and Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset broadcast group by 2010 to become No. 1 in terms of audience share in Italy, according to a new projection by market researcher ItMedia Consulting.

It predicts that within two years Sky Italia’s share of the TV market will rise to 32% — ahead of RAI and Mediaset with 31% each.

If the projections are correct Sky Italia’s share will have risen from 23% in just five years.

To arrive at the figures, ItMedia Consulting researchers assumed that the pay TV market in Italy will grow by 12% a year.

According to the projections, RAI, which has no pay TV service, will be the biggest loser as its audience share slips from 34% today. But Mediaset will also have seen its share fall since 2005, when it stood at 36%.

The report also predicts that by 2010 11.3 million Italian families will be watching digital terrestrial TV, and that over a third will have subscribed to a pay DDT service.